The Ministry of Change

Published on: April 24, 2017

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Whether we realize it or not, we are all ministers of change—in our personal lives, from the pulpit, or in whatever capacity we may be leading from. Every day, we experience change in our own lives or witness it affect someone we are engaged with. It is a natural part of life, and it may be our greatest spiritual teacher.

Think about it for a minute. What is at the root of your own personal angst in most situations? And in those you are serving? Somewhere in the exploration of what is really causing suffering you will find an attachment to the way things are or an attachment to a thought about a situation or yourself or someone else. Our inability to change that thought or that attachment often causes our suffering.

We live in a world where the one constant is change, yet we humans struggle so boldly against it.

At this point in our evolution, one would think we would be masters of change. We have experienced countless industrial and technological revolutions and evolutions. But still we resist.


Masters of Change

Is now the time for us to become masters of change? As individuals? As leaders? As a movement? The world is in social chaos and craving bold new spiritual solutions to the societal problems we face. We are being called to evolve as a movement and as teachers and leaders to provide those solutions.

There is a generation coming forth that is looking for spirituality in new forms, new delivery mechanisms, and new experiences. Are we ready to consider a complete paradigm shift in all that we do to find ways to serve them, while we continue to serve those loving souls we find in our communities today? Because that is what is being asked of us.

I believe we are ready. I have seen the talent, creativity, faith, staying power and love in this movement and this is a task that we are up for. However, I think it will take an approach we may not be accustomed to. It is one I have had to take on myself to truly reach that “next level” of possibility thinking. It is an approach inspired by a quote from Buckminster Fuller:

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

When I first used this quote in a prior job, I was preparing for yet another corporate brainstorming session on how to once again enhance an eight-year-old software product. This was a less-than-joyful task given all of the baggage associated with this product and how cumbersome the modifications would be. One of our developers from the Deep South said: “It feels like we are putting lipstick on a pig.”

She was right. I was in a room with some of the most enthusiastic and talented young developers and designers a leader could ask for, and yet we had quashed their creativity and inspiration with a boat anchor of outdated technology. I needed a different approach for this meeting, so I rolled in with the Bucky quote.

Within seconds, someone blurted out, “That’s it! Why are we wasting hundreds of hours trying to make something old fit a new paradigm? We need to develop something completely new that fits the new paradigm! In the same amount of time we can create something new in a newer, faster, and better platform that meets all of our criteria!”

And just like that, releasing the attachment to the past/present constraints freed us to consider only  the unlimited possibilities of a new paradigm.

This approach allows for unparalleled creativity and inspiration. No-boundaries thinking. It offers a completely fresh start—to release all of the possible reasons why we “can’t” do something and focus only on what “can” be done because there are zero limitations. Which hopefully leads to thinking that is so bold it frightens while simultaneously inspiring us.

Fear not, my friends; I am not suggesting that the present or the past has no value. It is actually quite the opposite. It is only because of the past and the present that we are able to even consider a paradigm shift. I am simply suggesting that we suspend our attachment for the purposes of innovation thinking. Once we have settled on a new paradigm possibility, we are free to go back and seek those things of great value from the existing model and bring them along.


Stepping into a New Paradigm

We are all forging a ministry of change both personally and professionally. Every day it greets us as our teacher. By way of Buckminster Fuller, I humbly offer a possible approach to consider as we navigate the dynamic journey that is before us.

Want to try something fun? Try this with me…. Let’s all suspend reality for just a moment. Close your eyes and drop out of your head and into your heart in whatever way you choose. Now completely and earnestly open your mind to possibility like you never have before.…

Ready? Okay, let’s go.

Pretend we all just started the Unity movement this week. Let’s take an inventory of what we have to work with:

  • We have an awesome, life-transforming set of teachings.
  • We have field ministries/centers all over the country/globe filled with inspiring leaders, teachers and service-minded volunteers all ready to help and serve more people.
  • We have a home campus that has two functional organizations working closely together and ready to serve these ministries/centers in unlimited new ways.
  • The two home campus organizations can develop ministry programs and online classes, establish a prayer ministry, publish magazines, provide online radio/podcasts, create social media messaging, design websites, generate spiritual content for the entire movement and more.

What data do we have about the world we want to serve?

  • We have data on our existing communities.
  • We have data on the folks we want to serve in the coming years.
  • We know what the trends are on the web, on social media, on mobile platforms.
  • We know what the societal needs are for spirituality, social action and social justice.

So we just started this beautiful movement this week. We have the incredible inventory above. We have the rich data above. We have no limitations, no constraints. What do you want to do in the world, Unity movement? What are the unlimited possibilities?

Is this how we are looking at our future? If not, shouldn’t it be?

Peace and blessings, my friends.

Jim Blake
Jim Blake returned as CEO of Unity World Headquarters in 2016, after having previously served as chief information officer and vice president of operations from 2006 to 2011. You can follow Jim on Facebook and Twitter: @iamjimblake or on Linkedin:

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  • Mendhi Audlin

    My heart leaps with joy at the idea… Not just the concept of stepping into a new paradigm, but the idea of a willingness of the entire Movement to do whatever it takes to build momentum for these teachings and the lives that they touch. “Coincidentally…” I was writing my Sunday sermon this afternoon and pulled MY favorite Bucky Fuller quote: “God, to me, it seems is a verb, not a noun,proper or improper.” What if the paradigm shift is as simple as shifting the paradigm from noun to verb?? Thank you, Jim, for your wisdom and leadership.

  • physicsaro

    We do need to revisit our teachings and determine how to reach out to the new generations. Another situation arises when Unity centers promote beliefs that are not Unity teachings as being “Unity”. Although Unity finds value in works such as “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM), ACIM is not a formal Unity teaching. I have been involved with congregations and Ministers who want to pick and choose from a variety of teachings, especially non-religious New Age, and bypass Unity’s ” awesome, life-transforming set of teachings.” O, and (pun-intended) heaven help you if you mention the Christ Jesus.

  • Berylanne

    I am so inspired. I also read an article, on line, published in the Lees Summit Tribune, “#practices4life” by Jim Blake. These articles are divine guidance.